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Teaching Tools
Marie Casey Stevens
Submitted: 2004-09-06 00:27:22.000 (post #: 256)

I just finished watching Serving in Silence with my stepdaughter. I've owned the video for a few years, and last night she asked if we could call it an "educational movie." She and her brother are able to watch movies if they pay using "poker chips which they earn by doing chores and such. However, we don't require them to pay with those chips for educational movies, which are any video we can discuss and use as a tool for intellectual stimulation. I was actually surprised that I hadn't shown it to her earlier, and agreed to let her watch it at the earliest opportunity. Although she and her brother spend equal time with both biological parents, she attends school in the town where her mother lives. Unfortunately, that town is extremely conservative in many ways; the mere fact that my stepdaughter dyes her hair at the age of twelve and prefers black clothing (because it all matches and she can spend less time on fashion) raises eyebrows. I noticed the beginnings of stereotypical thinking on her part shortly after I met her father, and have been working diligently to foster more tolerant thinking. Learning the stepmother she loved and valued was a bisexual made a great deal of difference, but to a child her age one makes exceptions for family automatically. Your decision to share your story and stand up for yourself has had consequences you probably never could have imagined. Tonight, I was able to share your story with my stepdaughter. Tomorrow, she may trust us enough to tell us she's gay, or she may be able to provide a friend with crucial support when they decide to share their secret with her. She may grow up to be an actress, or a soldier, or a politician, or a writer. Regardless of her profession, her life will touch thousands--ours all do--and your story may be a factor in how those interactions go. Thank you. Marie Casey Stevens
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